Many Canadians owe 'thank yous' to Prime Minister Jean Chretien for not going to war. With one firm speech when it mattered most, he maintained Canada's diminishing status as a principled nation.
Chretien stated that he would not go against the wishes of his people, and for better or worse, The War on Iraq will not be fought with Canadian hands. There are reasons for war and against war--I'm sure we've heard them all. But regardless of what the politician in me may think, (or the economist, or the pacifist), the human being in me is happy.
I am one of those Canadians with a lot to be thankful for, because at age 21, I do not have to worry about the draft. I'm not worried about seeing one of my better friends get called back to the Canadian Naval Reserves, nor am I worried that my contemporaries will lose family members overseas.
People south of the border do not have this luxury, and with all the pro-war and anti-war propaganda in conversation today, we should not forget the basic humanity that underlines their situation.
However we feel about President George W. Bush or Prime Minister Tony Blair, statements like "Let the fucking Americans do what they want to," are not necessarily what is needed right now.
What is needed, at least from the Canadians who said their quiet 'thank yous' today, is a continued commitment to the course our prime minister has set us on.
Love Jean Chretien or hate him, this decision re-inforced Canada's role as a humanitarian nation, and the populace should follow our leader in his commitment, at home and abroad.
Chretien made his choice--and hopefully, he will stand by it. Hopefully, he will keep his integrity in these uncertain times; and hopefully, Canadians will too.